Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 352 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Tiffany Aching series
Source: Swapped through Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
“The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.
A nightmarish danger threatens from the other side of reality. . . .
Armed with only a frying pan and her common sense, young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must defend her home against the monsters of Fairyland. Luckily she has some very unusual help: the local Nac Mac Feegle—aka the Wee Free Men—a clan of fierce, sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men.
Together they must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, terrifying dreams come true, and ultimately the sinister Queen of the Elves herself. . . .”
This is the first book in the Tiffany Aching series, which is a prequel to the rest of the Discworld series. It was a well written story and I enjoyed a lot of the characters.
Tiffany is a strangely brave and smart girl who ends up finding out that she is a witch. When her brother is stolen by the Fairy Queen she ends up enlisting the aid of the Wee Free Men to help win him back. Her journey takes her on perilous adventures where we meet many strange characters.
Pratchett is a great storyteller and this book is full of the humor and quirkiness his Discworld books are known for. I enjoyed Tiffany as a character and liked the other quirky characters we met throughout.
My only (and biggest) complaint about this book is how Pratchett wrote the way the Wee Free Men talk; he writes their speech phonetically. This makes the book hard to read and at times you almost have to say the words out loud to understand them. I really hate it when authors do this. It would be just as effective to say “they spoke with a Scottish accent” and then leave it at that. Or sometimes mention that a word sounded like another word because of the accent. You don’t need to make your readers stumble through awkwardly hyphenated dialogue. This is the main reason I won’t be reading any more Tiffany Aching books.
Overall this is a well crafted and entertaining story. It is a bit more accessible than the other Discworld novels and should appeal to younger readers as well. I enjoyed the characters and the story both. However, the phonetic speech of the Wee Free Men really bugged me, so I won’t be reading the rest of this series.